The party never ends.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration, seeking a contractor to oversee the establishment of a major Southern Illinois recreational facility in late 2003, bypassed the downstate firm that had already done the master plan for the project.
Instead, the administration handpicked a Chicago company that had contributed almost $30,000 in charter plane flights to Blagojevich’s 2002 campaign.
Since then, the Sparta World Shooting & Recreational Facility, heralded by Blagojevich as a boon for Southern Illinois’ economy, has also been a boon for that contributor, Knight E/A Inc. The Chicago engineering firm has received more than $2.5 million so far from its no-bid contract as construction manager of the Sparta project. […]
Knight Infrastructure, meanwhile, had already become a major political supporter of Blagojevich. During the 2002 campaign, records show, Knight donated charter plane services to Blagojevich on six occasions, at a value of more than $29,726. Wolfe, the Knight company president, gave Blagojevich a personal $10,000 contribution in September 2002, and another $5,000 in June 2003 - right around the time the administration was deciding how to proceed on the Sparta project.
Yet another unintentional coinkidink, according to the Blagojevich administration. Those contributions may look carefully timed and influential, but they weren’t. Nope. That would be wrong.
Peruse more stories on the relationship between Knight and the governor here and here.